Tag Archives: Nelson County Kentucky

1881 Will of James Theophilus Harris – Nelson County

James Theophilus Harris married Elizabeth Curry November 27, 1866.  Theophilus was born in 1812 and on the marriage certificate it says they were both of age.

The couple was married for fifteen years before Theophilus’ death in 1881.  His will leaves everything to his wife and daughter, Elizabeth and Minnie Elizabeth.

Will of James Theophilus Harris

Nelson County Will Book 19, Pages 42-43

I, James Theophilus Harris, of Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky, do make the following my last will and testament.

I give to my wife, Lizzie Harris, and my daughter, Mattie E. Harris, all my estate of every kind during their joint lives and then to the survivor of them during the life of said survivor.  And should my said daughter leave children or descendants of her body then at the death of my said daughter and the termination of the estates for life or lives above mentioned, then my estate or such as then may be on hand to go to such child or children of hers in fee as the statute would distribute to them.

But should my daughter die without descendants then one-half of my estate to pass to my brothers and sisters or their descendants and the other half to pass to such of my wife’s people as would be her heirs at law and they to take same as her heirs would take from her.

Such of my estate as my wife might think necessary to sell and dispose of, she hereby is empowered to sell and convey and to use and control the proceeds as may be required for the comfortable support of herself and the support and education of my daughter.  This power is also given her over my personal estate to use and control for the same purpose.  I hereby appoint my wife Executrix of this my last will and testament and direct that she may qualify as such without giving security as executrix on her bond.

Given under my hand this the 30th day of June 1881

J. T. Harris

Witnessed by us in the presence of testator and each other this 30th June 1881.

J. W. Muir, Joseph Brown

State of Kentucky                                       August Term

Nelson County Court                                 August 8, 1881

A writing purporting to be the last will and testament of James T. Harris, deceased, was this day produced in open Court and duly proven by the oath of J. W. Muir, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto, who also proved the signature of Joseph Brown, the other subscribing witness, both of whom signed same in the presence of each other and in the presence of, and at the request of the Testator, who then and there signed and published same as and for his last will and testament.

Wherefore said writing is ordered to be recorded as such, which is done.

Att.  William H. Rowan, Clerk, By Ansel B. Donohoo, Deputy Clerk

James T. Harris, born February 3, 1812, died July 14, 1881.  Bardstown City Cemetery, Nelson County, Kentucky.

What a beautiful sentiment on the back of Mr. Harris’ stone.

We have laid him to rest, we have folded the pale hands over the pulseless breast; closed the tired eyes; covered him over with sweet flowers, loves own offerings – and laid him away for the resurrection morn, when there shall be oh such a glad reunion of the loved and lost.’

1814 Will of Thomas Lewis – Nelson County

I think we need a little background on Thomas Lewis.  He was a son of John Lewis and Elizabeth Brown, born in Loudoun County, Virginia, about 1772.  His siblings were John Lewis, who moved to Hancock County, Kentucky; Daniel and Vincent Lewis who settled near Bloomfield in Nelson County, as did Thomas; and a sister Rebecca Lewis, not sure where she lived.  Daniel and Vincent Lewis are named as Thomas’ executors, and each receive ¼ of his estate.  Brother John died in 1813, and his children received ¼ part.  Sister Rebecca is given 1/8 of the estate, as is her daughter, Thomas’ niece, Rebecca Machan.  I can find no marriage for Rebecca Lewis, but that must be her married name.

Thomas was considered the chief business advisor for his family.  His death was a tragedy for his family in many ways.  From approximately mid-1819 to the first years of the 1820’s Kentucky was in an economic panic.  The great acres of land that Thomas left his family were possibly a curse rather than a blessing, since during this time the value of land was less to nothing, and yet property taxes still had to be paid.

Thomas Lewis married Ann Langley, the widow of John May.  At her death he received half of her husband’s estate, the other half going to her two children, John Langley and Mary May.  Thomas did not have children.  My Captain John Hancock Linton is an uncle of Thomas Lewis.

Thomas Lewis’ Will

Will Book A, Pages 129-131, Nelson County, Kentucky

I, Thomas Lewis, late of the town of Petersburg and State of Virginia, now in the State of Kentucky, being in good health and sound mind, do make this my last will and testament in manner following.  To wit, I hereby give and devise the whole of my estate (both personal and mixt rights and credits to me in anywise belonging, held either in my name or in the name of others for my use and benefit) unto my brothers Vincent Lewis and Daniel Lewis, their heirs, executors, etc., in trust for the following purposes.  First to pay all my just debts and secondly (after retaining to themselves a reasonable compensation for their trouble in settling my business) to divide the balance into eight equal parts and to retain in their hands two eighth parts for the use and benefit of the said Vincent Lewis and his heirs forever.  Two other eighth parts for the use and benefit of the said Daniel Lewis and his heirs forever, one eighth part for the use and benefit of my niece, Rebecca Machan; one eighth part for the use and benefit of my sister Rebecca Lewis and her heirs forever; and the other two eighth parts for the use and benefit of the children of my brother John, deceased; provided however if my said trustees should think proper they may within three years after they shall have qualified and undertaken said trust, put out one thousand dollars upon good security upon interest for the use and benefit of my said niece, Rebecca Macham or retain the same in their own hands, paying interest thereon each and every year to the said Rebecca or to some other person for her maintenance in place of the said eighth part of my estate, for and during her natural life and then to pay on the said one eighth or one thousand dollars (which ever they shall first elect to pay) to such of the relations of the said Rebecca Machan as they may think proper, provided it be not to them, the said Vincent and Daniel, or either of them or either of their descendants, and provided also that if my father shall by his will, give the plantation upon which he lives to my sister Rebecca, then in lieu of the one eighth of my estate, my trustee shall pay her the sum of five hundred dollars only, with interest.  Thereupon from two years after they shall have qualified to act or if my father should give her any part of said plantation less than the whole, then my said trustees may either pay to her the one eighth part of my estate or one thousand dollars within three years after

They shall qualify to act as aforesaid at their option, and as to the two eighths part devised in the first for the use and benefit of the children of my deceased brother, John, my desire is that the same shall be considered as a part of my said brother’s estate and to go to his children precisely as directed by his last will and testament.  And his executrix and trustee, heirs, etc., to have the same power over it as the other part of the said decedent’s estate.  It is my will and desire that my said trustees do settle the business of my estate as soon as practicable with convenience to themselves and in order to enable them to do so they are hereby authorized to enter into compromises for the adjustment of titles to all my lands and land clams where the same shall in any manner be disputed to enter into arbitration respecting the same and finally to do and act with the said lands as well as with all part or parts of my estate, rights and credits as if the property was their own and they were acting for themselves.  And in order to ascertain the amount of my said estate as soon as possible I would advise them to sell my lands and land claims from time to time, whenever in the opinion they can get what they are or shall be worth and upon such credits as they may think best and most to the advantage of my said estate and from time to time divide the proceeds of the said lands as well as of the slaves and other property, first deducting a reasonable compensation for their trouble, and all expenses attending the business from time to time.  And I hereby further empower my said trustees to make sale of all my slaves in the State of Virginia if they should think proper to do so hereby appointing my said brothers Vincent and Daniel, Executors of this my last will and testament, and hereby declaring all others by me at any time heretofore made wills void.  In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand seal this twenty-seventh day of April in the year of our Lord Christ, 1814.

Thomas Lewis

At a County Court held for Nelson County on the 20th day of December 1819

The above writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Thomas Lewis, deceased, being exhibited in Court and proved by the oaths of Vincent Davis, Richard Rudd and

General James Cox, all of this county, to be wholly in the handwriting of the said deceased and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of Vincent Lewis and Daniel Lewis, the executors therein named, they having given bond with Vincent Davis, Hezekiah Murphy, Thomas Duncan and James Allan, their securities in the penalty of $10000, conditioned as prescribed by law, and having taken the oath of the law in such case directs, it is ordered that a certificate of probate of said will be granted them.

Test. Ben Grayson, County Clerk

Hon. Jasper W. Muir Obituary – Nelson County

Jasper W. Muir was the son of William Locke Muir and Mary E. Hester, born December 11, 1828, in Clark County, Indiana.  His family moved to Nelson County, Kentucky, the next year.  Jasper and Mary Elizabeth Wickliffe were married about 1850 and had six sons before her death in 1868:  Nathaniel Wickliffe, William Logan, Joseph Halstead, Jasper W. Jr., Charles Wickliffe and James D., who lived only eight months.  Nine years after Mary Muir’s death Jasper married a widow, Florida Sloan Talbott.  The couple had three children:  Joseph A., Mary and Henry Louis Muir.  William Logan Muir and James D. Muir predeceased their father.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Thursday, April 11, 1907

Hon. Jasper W. Muir Dies at Bardstown

Pioneer Lawyer of Nelson County Passes Away In His Eighty-fourth Year

Bardstown, Ky., April 10 – Hon. Jasper W. Muir died at his residence here at an early hour this morning as a result of a stroke of apoplexy suffered three years ago.  He was eighty-four years old and was one of the most prominent men in this community.  He was a pioneer lawyer of the Bardstown bar, having been a partner of the celebrated Ben Hardin when that lawyer was at the height of his fame.  Mr. Muir was a veteran of the Mexican War, was formerly school superintendent of Nelson County, and was a member of the last constitutional convention.  He relinquished the practice of law about thirty years ago, and since that time had been engaged in the banking business.  He was one of the wealthiest men in Nelson County.  He is survived by his widow and seven children, one of whom is Mrs. Mary Hagan, wife of Robert J. Hagan, of Louisville.  The funeral will take place Friday afternoon.

Jasper W. Muir, December 11, 1823 – April 10, 1907.  St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky.

Private Joseph Linton Nally Gave All During WWI

Private Linton Nally, 1894-1919.  Died in France.  Gethsemani Catholic Cemetery, Nelson County, Kentucky.

In the quiet Gethsemani Cemetery of rural Nelson County, lies a war hero.  Joseph Linton Nally fought during World War I and gave his life in France, defending our country and the allied nations.  He was such a young man at the time of his death – only 25.

Linton, as he was known, was the youngest child of George Napoleon Nally and Annie Linton.  In the 1910 Nelson County census George is listed as a farmer, 52 years of age, he and his wife had been married 30 years.  Annie is 55, has born seven children, seven living.  Three children live with their parents – Anne, 19; William, 17; and Linton, 15.

On February 20, 1917, Linton married Mary Lillian Hicks.   January 6, 1918, a son was born, Randolph Joseph Nally.

Linton’s WWI registration card lists his date of birth as August 7, 1894, lived at RFD#1 New Haven, Kentucky (in Nelson County).  He is married.  Linton is described as tall, of stout build, with blue eyes and light colored hair.  I could find no other information about his service.

Linton must have come home at least once while on duty, because on the day of his death, January 7, 1919, Lillian was six months pregnant with their daughter, Mary Oneida, born April 16, 1919.

In the 1920 census Lillian and her two children are living with her father, Daniel Hicks.

In the 1930 census Lillian Hicks Nally has married Joseph Sidney Reid.  They have a houseful of children, Randolph and Mary Oneida Nally the oldest.

Mary L. Reid, December 24, 1892 – June 24, 1973.

Lillian lived an additional three years after her second husband died.  She was buried next to Linton Nally.


1803 Will of Mary Luckett of Washington County

Mary Luckett was a very recent immigrant to Washington County, Kentucky, when she died there in the spring of 1803.  Her husband, Thomas Hussey Luckett, died in Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland, in 1797 – she came to Kentucky after that date.  Mary’s children are listed – most of the girls with their married names.  I checked marriage records for Washington County, but could find none of these names, leading me to believe they married in Maryland.  Henry Luckett, the youngest, married Elizabeth Beaven in Washington County 17 June 1805.

I find it very interesting that she sends her executor to Maryland, to remove a Negro boy from the man she sold him to – Osborn Ecton.  Was he cruel to this young slave? 

Rev. Stephen Theodore Badin is the priest mentioned in her will, to receive five pounds.  He was born in Orleans, France, July 17, 1768, and did much to minister to the Catholics in Kentucky during the early days of the state.

Also remember that Marion County was still a part of Washington County at this time.  I believe it is in that area that the Luckett’s lived.

Washington County, Kentucky Will Book A, Pages 247-249

In the name of God, amen.  I, Mary Luckett, of Washington County and state of Kentucky, being weak of body, but sound and perfect mind and memory, recommending my soul to almighty God, who gave it, and my body to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my children, doth give and bequeath

My personal and real estate in the following manner and form, to wit.  It is my will and desire that my Executor shall have a sum of money arising from the sale of my property, sufficient to pay him and bear his expenses to the state of Maryland, and also money, if any shall be required, for the use of removing a Negro boy, called Joseph, of the possession of Osborn Ecton, which boy was sold to said Ecton by me.  It is my will and desire that Elizabeth Cheatham, Benjamin Luckett, Thomas Luckett, Priscilla Roby, Sarah Simms, Ann Mellon, Verlinda Roby, Elizabeth Luckett and Henry Luckett, my beloved children, shall have an equal proportion of my real and personal estate after paying all my just debts and expending the sum of five pounds with the Rev. S. T. Badin, and lastly, I constitute and appoint Hezekiah Luckett, the sole Executor of this my last will and testament, revoking any other will or wills heretofore made by me.  In testimony whereof I have set my hand and seal this twentieth day of April eighteen hundred and three.

Singed, sealed and delivered by Mary Luckett as her last will and testament in the

presence of us, and we in the presence of her and in the presence of each other, the day and year above written – Henry Miles, Bernard Miles

Mary Luckett

At a County Court held for Washington County the second day of May 1803.  This will was proved by the oaths of Henry Miles and Bernard Miles, subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.

And on the motion of Hezekiah Luckett, the Executor therein named who made oath and executed and acknowledged bond in the penalty of six hundred pounds conditioned as the law directs, a certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.

The Lucketts of Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland, Newman, 1938

Thomas Luckett


Thomas Luckett, son of Samuel and Anne Luckett, was born about 1720, in Port Tobacco Parish, Charles County, Maryland.  His wife was Mary, who shared in the will of her mother Sarah Griffin, of Charles County, during 1796. From the ages and marriages of his children, it can be concluded that Thomas wedded somewhat late in life.

Children of Thomas and Mary (Griffin) Luckett

  1. Benjamin Luckett married Elizabeth Semmes
  2. Priscilla Luckett married Barton Robey, settled in Nelson Count, Kentucky
  3. Sarah Luckett married John Semmes, settled in Nelson County, Kentucky
  4. Elizabeth Luckett married James Oldham
  5. Thomas Luckett married Mary
  6. Anne Luckett
  7. Verlinda Luckett married Joseph Osborn Robey, according to the rites of the Catholic Church, February 22, 1797.
  8. Hezekiah Luckett married Elizabeth
  9. Henry Luckett married Elizabeth Beaven.

Thomas Luckett maintained his seat in Upper Port Tobacco Hundred, where he was a tax payer in 1783, with the following tracts – ‘Quick Dispatch’ of 15 acres with one good dwelling; ‘Semmes’ Support’ of 40 acres; ‘No Dispute’ of 48 acres with one good dwelling; and ‘Luckett’s Outlet’ of 24 acres.  These tracts were acquired during the Revolutionary War, inasmuch as up to the year 1774 Thomas Luckett paid no quit rents to the Lord Proprietor.

In 1778 Thomas Luckett took the Oath of Allegiance and Fidelity to the State of Maryland in Charles County, his signature appearing on the list of ‘His Worshipful Robert Young Returns’.

According to the census of 1790, Thomas Luckett was the head of a family, he and another man being over the age of 16, 1 boy under 16, 6 females and 11 slaves.

He died intestate in Charles County.  His widow Mary was issued letters of administration, while the inventory of his personal estate, taken in April 1797, showed property given to his five children at the time of marriage, but since returned to the estate.  The final account was rendered April 15, 1797, by this widow, and distributed to her and nine unnamed children.  John Griffin and Thomas Luckett were bondsmen.

On April 10, 1797, an indenture made in Charles County showed that Benjamin Luckett and Elizabeth his wife; Barton Robey and Priscilla, his wife; John Semmes and Sarah, his wife; all of Nelson County, Kentucky.  James Oldham and Elizabeth, his wife; Thomas Luckett and Mary, his wife; Anne Luckett; Joseph Osborne Robey and Valinda, his wife; Hezekiah Luckett and Henry Luckett, all of Charles County, Maryland, deeded to Elizabeth Keith, of Alexandria, Virginia, a tract of land in Charles County called ‘All Dispute’, being a portion of Zachariah Manor which by patent of November 30, 1797, had been granted to Benjamin Luckett, Elizabeth Oldham, Priscilla Robey, Thomas Luckett, Sarah Semmes, Anne Luckett, Valinda Luckett, Hezekiah Luckett and Henry Luckett, heirs of Thomas Luckett.  Hezekiah Luckett was given the power of attorney for the residents of Nelson County.

1790 Will of Valentine King

According to an article on the King family published in Genealogies of Kentucky Families, Valentine King was born in Stafford County, Virginia, about 1747, ‘the son of William King, Clerk of the Court, and Justice of Stafford County, 1742-1760, and his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, daughter of John Edwards and his wife, Jane Arrington, of Westmoreland County, Virginia.’

Valentine King, along with his brothers, John, William and Nimrod, fought in the Revolutionary War as members of the Stafford County Militia, 3rd Virginia Regiment.  They were all discharged from the camp at Valley Forge, February 16, 1778, and returned to Stafford County.  They soon moved to Kentucky, receiving land for their military service.

Valentine King received land in Jefferson County, Kentucky.  He died in early April 1790.

In the name of God amen.  I, Valentine King of Nelson County and district of Kentucky, being of sound mind and memory, thanks be to God for the same, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following.  That is to say, first of all, I recommend my soul to God who gave it and my body to the earth from whence it came, to be buried in a Christian-like manner at the discretion of my executors hereafter named, and as to the worldly estate it hath pleased God to give me I dispose of it in the following manner.

Imprimis.  My will and desire is that all my just debts and funeral charges be first paid and satisfied.

Item.  I give and bequeath to my beloved sister, Elizabeth Owens, during the term of her natural life, one third of the profits arising from the plantation I purchased of Patrick McGee, which said plantation after her decease goes to my brother, John Edwards King.  I also give and bequeath to my said sister, Elizabeth Owens, during her natural life one Negro girl called Cate, which said Negro after my said sister’s decease goes to my brother, John E. King, and I further give to my said sister, Elizabeth Owens, one half the increase of the said Negro

Cate, that shall be raised from her during the life of my said sister, to her and her heirs forever.

Item.  I give and bequeath to my beloved brother, John Edwards King, the plantation and land I purchased of Patrick McGee, he, paying annually to his sister, Elizabeth Owens, one third part of the profits arising from the said plantation during her life, to him and his heirs and assigns forever.  I also give my said brother, John E. King, after the death of his sister, Elizabeth Owens, one Negro called Cate and one half the increase that shall have been raised from her to him and his heirs and assigns forever.  I further give my said brother, John E. King, two hundred acres of land in Jefferson County, known by the name of the Poplar Level to receive the same and have possession after the death of Elizabeth Crips, to whom I have left the said land during her natural life and I further give to my brother, John E. King, my wearing apparel with my saddles, bridle and saddle bags to him and his heirs forever.

Item.  I give and bequeath to Elizabeth Crips, daughter of Nancy Brashear, during her natural life, two hundred acres of land, her choice, out of five hundred acres of my

land in Jefferson County, known by the name of the Poplar Level on Floyd’s Fork, which said land at her death goes to my brother, John E. King.  I also give to the said Elizabeth Crips my mare called Jenix and three thousand weight of tobacco to her and her heirs and assigns forever.

Item.  My will and desire is that all the rest of my estate, real and personal, be equally divided between my beloved mother and my brothers William and Withers King and that my mother’s part at her decease go to my two brothers, William and Withers, to them, their heirs and assigns forever.

And lastly I do hereby appoint my trusty and beloved friends, George and Cuthbert Harrison, Executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me heretofore made, declaring this and only to be my last will and testament, in testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 22nd day of February 1790.

Valentine King

Signed, sealed, published and declared by this testator in presence of – Anthony Foster, Paul Kester, Cuthbert Harrison.

At a Court held for Nelson County on Tuesday the 13th day of April 1790.  This last will and testament of Valentine King, deceased, was presented in Court by Cuthbert Harrison, one of the Executors herein named and proved by the oaths of Anthony Foster, Paul Kester and Cuthbert Harrison, subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to record.

Teste.  Gen Grayson, Clerk of the Court

Nelson County – Will Book A, Pages 1-4



Augustine Cooper and His Two Wives – Mahala Monica Bean and Matilda Coomes

Augustine Cooper and Mahala Monica Bean, daughter of Bennett Bean, were married February 12, 1827.  In the 1850 Washington County census, Augustine, 43, and Monica, 41, are listed with ten children – Bennett, 22; Charles N., 19; Richard R., 18; Alexander B., 16; Philip, 14; Sarah E., 13; James W., 10; Mary E., 8; Thomas H., 6; and John B., 4.  In 1860 only Bennett and Richard were not living with the family.

Monica Bean Cooper died September 20, 1862.  Two years after her death Augustine married again – this time to Matilda A. Coomes, June 20, 1864.

In the 1870 census Augustine is 64, Matilda, 34.  Their three small children are Augustine, 5; Mary, 3; and Joseph, 11/12.  Augustine Cooper died November 22nd of that year.  In the 1880 census Matilda is living with her three children in Nelson County, where she was raised as a child.  She died at the young age of 49.

According to the death certificate of son Joseph, who became Brother Cyril Cooper, C. F. X., Augustine Cooper and Matilda Coomes are listed as his parents.  Daughter Mary became Sister Mary Catherine Cooper and was a school teacher in Paducah.  Augustine Cooper and his wives left many descendants.

Augustine Cooper, born June 4, 1805, died November 22, 1870.  Monica, wife of A. Cooper, born August 8, 1807, died September 20, 1862.  St. Rose Catholic Cemetery, Washington County, Kentucky.